Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. (Albert Einstein)
We continue the journey with Tendlers questionnaire from the last blog. I am slightly disappointed that not a single reader took the chance and filled the questionnaire and posted it in the comments... But I rest assure that you did it for yourself, right guys?
I am a very firm believer in honesty. So before we begin you get a little preach: Be honest to yourself!!! I wasted so many years trying to avoid fixing my (quite serious) issues.. But they don't go away by themselves, you have to address the REAL problems if you want to achieve success and harmony... So be honest (at least) with yourself. You don't have to be a super wannabe like me and spill your heart out in a blog, but finding that honest core will help, both in poker and life. Ok, enough morale for today. Get ready to learn things about me, you probably didn't want to know (hey, that dwarf story wasn't true so forget about it!). Let's go!
6) What have you tried to fix any of these issues? What level of success have you had?
I have read several books on the subject (Hilger and Angelo) - they were ok but somehow they didn't fix the underlying issues. So it helped for sometime and then (as I usually do) I started taking my zen-state for granted. But tilt would slowly creep back, and I would have to address it again. So I have come to realize that avoiding/minimizing tilt is a work in progress (never ends - but knowing that is a big relief, somehow). I also watched some videos with Jared Tendler and especially the breathing stuff was very helpful (it still is) - I even bought a whole book (by the world champion in deep diving) about breathing! (and did a little bit of yoga). I also watched some Angelo videos and got interested in mindfullness. I try to have a plan before I play and specific areas of focus. But sometimes I still become tilted and off-balance so I will say I have had some success in combating tilt but there is still room for improvement. I think my very competitive nature is the biggest problem - it just spreads the wrong energy out in the system somehow.
7) Do factors outside poker ever affect your play? If yes, how? Does poker ever negatively impact your life, if yes, how?
Yes it does when 'extreme' things happens. When my mother died one month after being diagnosed with cancer it was really bad for my poker. It took sometime to get back to playing 'happy poker' - and I took many breaks because I could just feel it didn't matter at all to me. Also when I came back from Australia earlier this year my game was suffering. 6 months earlier everything looked really good on all accounts and then suddenly everything went sour (ratingdrop from 2600, running bad, fertility treatment not working, problems with the GF, stocks taking a serious blow etc.) - it hurt my game and I reverted to my old entitlement or injustice tilt-issues (and whining).
Poker sometimes does effect my outside life negatively (I feel depressed and sort of like giving up) after a very bad sessions. But the feeling never stays very long. I have a trick, which I learned from Anthony Robbins: When you have a bad experience visualize it, then make it dimmer and dimmer - removing the colours and the sound, then slowly move it further into the horizon and when you almost can't see it (or feel it) - put it into the sun! If it was very bad it might come back - but then you just do the visualize/blur/minimize/sun routine again and eventually the pain disappears.
8) Why do you play poker? What motivates you to play, why do you love it, what do you get out of it?
Bang! Right at the core of the motives. Serious stuff now.
First and most important: I have always loved to play (strategic) games, it is not an accident that games has more or less become my life. I really feel alive when 'fighting it out' in a game. Poker is an amazing game with more or less unlimited different strategies so I like the challenge of becoming as good as I can be. I play because it is fun and I love to compete. I also play to earn money, respect and the satisfaction of being better than other players. What do I get out of it? Money, intelligent satisfaction and a very free lifestyle (no 9-5 and no boss telling me what to do) - what more can you ask?
9) List your three to five biggest distractions while playing. Describe why these are a problem.
The biggest one is actually due to the Partypokers software (which get most of my action): I sign up for a table using holdem managers tablescanner. So usually I am on hold for 15 tables (15 fish). The problem comes when a multitabling reg leaves - then I get bombarded with table pop-ups (they really should do it in a better way), and suddenly I have 10 tables going and get asked about 5 more. It cost me money for sure and is also very stressful. I am thinking about how to avoid this...
I sometimes find my mind drifting and I check my email, sometimes I even do a little bit of browsing. I am trying to work on this - forbidden sir! And slap on the hand. I usually don't answer the phone while playing so that is not a (big) problem.
Technical problems of any kind is major concern. I simply don't play if things are not working like they are supposed to!
I almost always listen to music while playing and very depressive music is not good for my poker. So it is seldom I hear Trentemoller or something like that. Listening to discussions in the room is also a distraction (shut up, guys!)
10) How do you decide when to play? Do you have a set time or is it flexible or random?
I play when I can! I have a rather busy schedule so I am working hard to get enough hours in. I usually play in the evening. I have a rule: I have to play 1500 hands whenever I am in the office. I have had serious problems with 'winquitting' - up 2k - nice, let's go home and have a glass of wine and watch TV or read a book - feeling allllllllllll right. But not exactly maximizing profits. When I am down I tend to play longer. But I do have some sort of rational explanation: The games get softer and softer as the evening/night progress - and at 3 AM it is ridiculous how many bad players you can find. But still it would be better to go there by planing and not 'to get even'. Sure Jared would see this as tilt (wanting to win every session).
Ok enough - next part coming soon. Enjoy the weather (the sun is shining in Copenhagen for the first day in weeks).